Where Was I, Anyway?

Well, here’s a hint:

For those of you not up on these things, that’s a headcrab, featured in the games Half-Life and Half-Life 2, by the video game company Valve Software, which I visited on my trip.

What did I see there? I can’t tell you (I signed an NDA).

What did I do there? I can’t tell you (see above).

Did I have a good time? Oh, yeah.

Should you, as a video game fan, be immensely, immensely jealous? See above.

I can say this: If you’re a gamer, I think you’re going to like what’s coming down the pike from Valve. Even the stuff I saw in rough form was very cool.  I can also say that the folks at Valve were all very smart, very talented and building really interesting stuff. As I said, when you see it (eventually), you’ll probably agree.

In all, a very nice tour of the chocolate factory, if you know what I mean. I’m glad I went.

34 Comments on “Where Was I, Anyway?”

  1. Oooooooh – I’m so jealous.

    I wish I could get brain-sucking toys for my daughter.

  2. The way that her eyes are crossed makes that picture even better! Has this headcrab been debeaked just like Lamarr was in HL2?

    Oh, and does the “something” you saw at Valve rhyme at all with “Naff Wife Webisode Free”? ;)

  3. The completely crossed eyes are a nice touch. Kudos to the arthropodally enhanced model.

  4. Sweet! I used to work for EA, and would sometimes run into the guys from Valve at E3 and various other trade shows. They are gamers all the way to the top in that company (no clueless management or marketing weasels). Much like the folks at Blizzard, they do as they please, ignore what the rest of the market is doing, and ship great product.

    Portal was such a breath of fresh air in my humble opinion, and possibly one of the best games I have played in the last 5 years.

  5. I’m jealous that your daughter lets you take pictures of her. Oh wait, she hasn’t hit thirteen yet.

  6. And Krissy has either a look of benign amusement at the antics, or a WTF is going on. Makes the picture even better. And it looks like Kodi just couldn’t care.

  7. # Steve Buchheiton 30 Mar 2008 at 5:18 pm

    And Krissy has either a look of benign amusement at the antics, or a WTF is going on. Makes the picture even better. And it looks like Kodi just couldn’t care.

    I think Krissy is trying to calculate the cost of therapy.

  8. Joelfinkle:

    I met him when I was there and spent much of the day with him. I liked him very much.

  9. I hate NDAs. Any idea on when it will be lifted? Or it’s covered by another NDA?

  10. You couldn’t get your hands on any companion cubes while you were there? You saw Portal 2, didn’t you?


    Man, let her carry the axe in the christmas picture, drench her in ketchup and let her walk around with the headcrab. She’ll be extremely fun at family gatherings. :)

  11. #10 Don,

    Since we know so little about normal headcrab psychology it is to be expected we’re going to know even less about their abnormal psychology. Which means effective treatment of a specimen after contact with the mind of a nine year old is going to be expensive.

  12. Really, Krissy in the background makes the whole picture. I’ve never met her, but I recognize the amused “I can’t believe the ridiculous things you do for the Internet” look– I get it from Kate pretty regularly…

  13. I think Krissy is actually a bit concerned that it might be, well, a louse. And she’s wondering where one gets a comb that’ll work on nits that large.

    Athena is really going to regret this in college during her freshman year, when some {jealous girl | stalker} dredges this up, prints it, then wallpapers her dorm room with the connivance of her roommate. Especially if she ends up at that institution on the south side of Chicago.

  14. I invited John to Valve because he has some big fans here, and we thought it would be cool to give him a peek behind the scenes at a place where we live out a science fictional existence. Twas fun. John signed an NDA but I didn’t, so I can tell you he saw just about everything we’re working on right now. Why should my head be the only one perpetually about to explode?

    That headcrab looks good on your daughter, John!

  15. I wish I could get excited about the upcoming Valve game. But, as much as I would like to play HL 2 and Portal, I’m on the -wrong- computer, and Gabe Newell has let us all know that it’s just -too hard- to develop for that OS as well.

    Unless, of course, you’re Blizzard, who apparently signed deals with demons or something in exchange for the ability to do simultaneous releases of every single game.

    I know, I’m whining. Great photo, though “Cake or Death” is still the blue-ribbon winner :)

  16. Valve, to my knowledge, has never made anything that sucked. In fact, I believe they’ve never gone below “actually quite good” on the game excellence scale.

    Meesa super jealous! That must have been a fun visit!

  17. Does your NDA prohibit you from identifying the poster on the wall in the background of the picture? ‘Cause I can’t work out which film it’s for and it’s killing me now.

  18. Hey John,

    Great picture of Athena – you can tell her I said she’s the scariest Headcrab zombie ever. (The crossed eyes are classic!) And I’m immensely jealous that you got to go and view all the goodies early. I’m a big fan of the Half Life series.

    Interestingly enough, your picture of her brought to mind the fact that there are no ‘child’ headcrab zombies in HL 2. Which seems odd now that I think about it since the story line includes urban areas infested with Headcrabs. Frankly if you talk with Mark Laidlaw again you should mention that absence. Headcrab zombie children would definitely add to the ‘creepy factor’ immensely. Headcrab zombie children – they’re here for your bwains! (And the car-keys plus some date money too.)

  19. Thanks, John. Not a film I’ve seen before, but I love old movie posters (and old movies, natch), which is why it caught my eye.

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